My Daoist Life - 5
Accompanying Teacher to Sleep
As it was Lin Jing’s first time being the teacher-in-charge, her sense of responsibility was especially strong. Other than weekends, every afternoon she would pay a visit to the homes of her students. Carrying a black notebook, she meticulously recorded down the living situations of all her students.
Because my situation was the most special, naturally she arranged for me to sit near the front.
During an afternoon of Lin Jing’s second week at Ba Jiao village when class had just ended, Lin Jing gave an announcement to the class: ”Tonight it’s Huang Jingyang’s turn to stay behind and accompany me.”
If it had been any of the other little brats in my class they would’ve started jumping in excitement but i knitted my brows and frowned. This wasn’t a good assignment.
In the afternoon Lin Jing wanted to go to my home to pay a visit even though she knew that my parents had gone to the southern part of the country to work. “Huang Jingyang, is your grandpa at home?”
“He’s home.” Even though I wasn’t too happy, I had no choice but to tell the truth.
Grandpa was extremely excited that Teacher Lin had come to visit his house. Our home had two chickens, now we only have one. It was at this time that I thought to myself, isn’t this Teacher Lin using the excuse of visiting homes to freeload?
“I’ve already eaten my lunch.” As if she knew what I was thinking, Teacher Lin declined to sit at the table. However she was unable to refuse Grandpa’s kind hospitality so she ate a bit, quickly putting down her chopsticks after that, instead she put quite a bit in my bowl.
“Huang Jingyang, you’re still growing so you should eat more.”
It was at this moment that I suddenly felt that Teacher Lin actually wasn’t that cold.
On our way back to the school I asked her a question, ”Teacher Lin, you ate so little, could it be that you are sick?”
Actually I was referring to the gloomy and cold aura emitting from her body.
“I’m fine, if a woman eats too much, her figure won’t be good.“ Teacher Lin said smilingly.
As a farmer’s son, who always lacked food and clothes, it was hard for me to understand the meaning of keeping in shape. Even now, it was impossible for the villagers to have meat at every meal. Unless they were like Huang Shulang’s family, who had a butcher.
To me, the homework for first graders wasn’t even a little difficult. Teacher Lin, who had originally wanted to guide and assist me, discovered that she had nothing to do.
“Huang Jingyang, you’re so smart, in the future you must definitely go to a university.”
The concept of going to a university was nonexistent within the minds of the village children, since the victory of the communists over the nationalists in 1949, Ba Jiao village had never produced a single university student.
“What can I do after going to university?” I asked puzzledly.
“If you study in a university, in the future you can go to the city to work and earn a lot of money.”
“My parents have never studied in a university, they’re also working in the city, they can also make money.” After thinking about it for a while, there were still questions within my heart.
“If you study in a university, your job will be more relaxed and your wages will be higher, what’s more, you will be able to be registered as a resident in the city.“ Dealing with this difficult-to-fool student gave Lin Jing a bit of a headache.
At night before we slept Teacher Lin asked me to turn around, when I looked back she had already changed into a pair of pink pajamas. I almost thought that she was the same as me and knew Dao techniques, the type that allowed her to change her clothes in the blink of an eye.
Knowing that I was to accompany Teacher Lin at night, Grandpa had let me take a bath in the afternoon and made me wear a singlet. Unlike at home where I would just strip and get into bed.
The singlet was unable to cover up the bronze medal and it was noticed by Teacher Lin. At the time when Huang Shulang had tried to complain about me playing with my medal, I had managed to hide it back within my shirt and it wasn’t noticed by Teacher Lin.
“Was this bronze medal given to you to wear by your parents?” Teacher Lin asked curiously.
I shook my head, “I picked it up in the mountains.”
“Picked it up in the mountains? Can I have a look?” Teacher Lin was even more surprised.
Even though in my heart I wasn’t willing, I took off the medal and handed it to Teacher Lin.
After looking at it for a while, Teacher Lin naturally couldn’t see anything suspicious about it, so she gave it back to me.
Seeing me stare at her neck, Teacher Lin smiled and took down down a red cord from her neck and revealed an object from beneath her clothes.
It was a piece of jade, but it was dark green in colour. Its design was simple, and the engraving on it was done meticulously with a rich luster.
I barely managed to keep myself from throwing the jade away. This was because I knew that the cold and gloomy aura on Teacher Lin’s body was emitted from this piece of jade.
Teacher Lin’s face reddened: ”It was given to me by a friend.”
“A friend? Where did this jade come from?” Because of my nervousness, it seemed as if I was interrogating her
“Little children shouldn’t ask so many questions, it isn’t polite, do you understand?” Teacher Lin said firmly.
“No… What I’m trying to say is…. “ What I had originally wanted to say was that there was a problem with this jade, but knowing that Teacher Lin would not believe me. I didn’t continue talking and resentfully returned the jade to Teacher Lin.
Teacher Lin carefully wore the red string around her neck and put the jade within her clothes. From her actions, one could tell that the person who gave her the jade must’ve been extremely important to her.
Even though I felt very uncomfortable about the jade, there was nothing that I could do. Luckily I only had to accompany her for one night and my task would be over. “All I have to do is sleep one night.” I thought to myself.
That night, I dreamt of Teacher Lin. In the dream Teacher Lin had been captured by a person shrouded entirely in black. Teacher Lin kept shouting at me to save her> However, regardless of whether I tried to dance the strange dance or send out primordial qi, it was useless against that person. Abruptly waking up, I realised that I was holding Teacher Lin’s jade within my hand.
The jade’s gloomy and cold aura had already disappeared, changing to a gentle feeling within my hands. However I quickly released it, I had no good feelings about this jade.
Teacher Lin slept very soundly, I closed my eyes and also fell asleep very quickly.
“Wake up, Wake up.” I didn’t know how long I had slept, Teacher Lin shook me to wake me up. Believing it to be dawn, I opened my eyes to look, but it was still night.
“It’s not even dawn?” The glaring lights in the room were making me unable to open my eyes.
“I want to go to the toilet, you stand up and accompany me.” Teacher Lin said somewhat embarrassedly.
Ba Jiao Primary School’s toilet’s were old fashioned hole type bathrooms, because of being so shameful they were set up some distance away from the classrooms. It didn’t matter during the day time, but if going to the toilet in the evening was a bit inconvenient. Very few people live in the school, and it doesn’t even have street lights outside, and there is no electrical wiring to the toilets. Teacher Lin took a flashlight, and I followed.
It was pitch-black outside, Teacher Lin unexpectedly found it embarrassing to make me wait outside the toilet. Actually, she was also afraid of going to the toilet alone.
“You come inside with me. Help me by holding the flashlight.”
Of course, as I went inside, Teacher Lin made me stand with my back to her. I took a look at the structure inside, and it was actually missing a peeing region like the men’s room. I was actually puzzled in my mind as to where did the girls pee.
At this time, I heard some xisuo sounds coming from behind me, which immediately answered the questions I was having in my mind just a moment ago.
I also didn’t know what else to think of at the moment, I was actually in such a filthy place, there’s no presence of the worldly primordial qi in this place. It is only plainly obvious, how could such a place have worldly primordial qi?
Ba Jiao Primary School can be quite terrifying in the night. Noises of dogs barking could be heard coming from the distant village. From time to time, several short and long birdsongs could be heard coming from the mountains. However, these kind of voices in the night would make cold sweat go down your back.
Teacher Lin’s hands were somewhat trembling, as she tightly held on to my hands. Only after the school gate was closed and left behind, Teacher Lin heaved a sigh of relief.
“Teacher Lin, just a moment ago, did you see something?” I asked.
Teacher Lin jumped in fright: “Where’s what thing. It’s too dark outside. I’ve always been afraid of the dark since childhood.”
This time, I slept until dawn broke. I got up, put on my clothes, then ran towards home.
“This Child, How can you just pick up your trousers and not even acknowledge others?” Teacher Lin pulled me back.
“I need to go back to let the ox graze, also need to make breakfast.” Since I woke up from my coma, I had slowly taken over all the house chores. Letting out the Ox, collecting firewood, cooking meals and doing the laundry, had slowly been taken over from Grandpa’s hands. Teacher Lin is a city person, naturally wouldn’t understand the realities of the life of a peasant boy who has to handle the responsibilities of the household.
Seeing me come back, the Ox in the pen cried out loudly.
I walked over, and took down the stopper. The Ox immediately rushed out from the cattle pen, and began arching its body to get petted by me.
“Go graze.” I shot some Primordial Qi into the Ox’s body with a pat.
The Ox immediately happily ran off into the distance.
The tether from the Ox’s nose had long since been removed, because it no longer had any utility.
Grandpa had already gone to work the fields, I quickly began making breakfast.
Breakfast was ready by the time Grandpa came back from working the fields.
“YangYang, has your teacher Lin had breakfast or not?” Grandpa asked while grabbing the food for eating.
“She should have eaten in the school cafeteria.”
After this time, I had originally thought that it would take a long time for it to be my turn again. Who knew that only after two days, Teacher Lin at the time of dismissing class announced: “Huang Jingyang, you will accompany me for the night.”
“Why me?” I scowled. On the day after I had accompanied Teacher Lin, I discovered that the trace of cold and gloomy aura on her body had returned.
Huang Shulang was counting down the days waiting for his turn, but he shouldn’t expect much, after all, who would be willing to let a pig **.
“Teacher Lin, hasn’t Huang Jingyang’s already had his turn?” Huang Shulang obviously didn’t realize the point.
“This is not a public distribution of food.” Teacher Lin said with a smile on her face.
Huang Shulang had a very dismayed expression on his face. I understood that for Huang Shulang, this was probably his once in a lifetime opportunity to even get close to a beautiful woman.
“I have been suffering from nightmares, but I didn’t have them on that night with you.” Teacher Lin told me the reason, at night time.
When I had gone to sleep in the night, unexpectedly I again had that weird dream, and again grasped Teacher Lin’s Jade pendant within my hands.
I managed to wake up again in the middle of the night. Suddenly, I condensed Primordial Qi within my hands and slapped it into the Jade pendant fiercely.
A blood-curling scream sounded out, that Jade pendant had turned from its originally somewhat pitch-black colour to dark-green.
I wasn’t sure what had happened but I knew that whatever had been hiding in the jade had been dispersed by my primordial qi. I could no longer sense that uncomfortable feeling.